The association was founded during the Islamic Revolution and is said to have "formed part of the radical Islamic left that constituted Khomeini's inner circle." The group was made up of "hardline revolutionaries" who "beat students who disagreed with them". Following the death of Khomeini they were elbowed aside by Islamic conservatives for positions of power. Anjoman-e-Eslami is said to have shifted its position in favor of democracy around 1994.
Today the group is Islamic in religion and leftist in its economic views, but "avowedly democratic in its political outlook.